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House lacks quorum for 3rd day

Posted by arnon_k On March - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Lack of a quorum again caused the House of Representatives to adjourn, for the third consecutive day, on Thursday.

House Deputy Speaker Col Apiwan Wiriyachai called the adjournment at 3.15pm after two quorum checks as the the House was about to vote on Article 17 of the Rubber Bill.

Only 223 MPs were present in the first quorum check. In the second check, about five minutes later, only 218 MPs remained in the chamber. At least 238, or one half of the existing 475 MPs, are needed to make a quorum.

The joint sitting of parliament to consider minutes of three Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) meetings on Tuesday and the House meeting on Wednesday were also adjourned because of a lack of interest by MPs.

House Speaker Chai Chidchob blamed it on MPs who skipped their duties in parliament and instead went to their home constituencies to look after flood-hit people and begin electioneering.

A parliament source said the government whips on Thursday asked Mr Chai to call off the House meeting on Friday, reasoning that southern MPs of the Democrat Party had to go to flood-hit areas.

Mr Chai, however, rejected the request. He said the Friday meeting is for the government to reply to fresh queries and only 95, or one-fifth of the existing MPs, are needed to make a quorum.

The source said Mr Chai had instructed the Secretariat of the House of Representatives to issue a circular for MPs and senators to attend joint sittings of parliament on April 19 and 26 to consider 18 draft agreements which require parliamentary approval under Section 190 of the constitution.

Under the circular, MPs are also required to attend House meetings eight more times – on April 7, 8, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has announced he will dissolve the House in the first week of May and call a general election.

Death sentence for murder of MP

Posted by arnon_k On March - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

A man has been sentenced to death and two others to life imprisonment for the murder of a Thai Rak Thai Party MP for Ratchaburi province in 2006.

In this case, Anantasak Srisawat, alias Tai, Winyoo Rattanawannaee, and Anont Phanrat were charged with murder and illegal use of firearms in the shooting on May 27, 2006.

On that day, the three opened fire at the car of Korbkul Nop-amornbodi, then MP of the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party, while it was waiting at a traffic signal at the Khao Ngu intersection in tambon Na Muang of Ratchaburi’s Muang district.

Mrs Korbkul was killed and Chatri Suparanant, the driver, and her escort Pol Sgt-Maj Saichol Kaewsai, wounded in the shooting.

The Criminal Court found them guilty as charged and sentenced Anantasak to death and Winyoo and Anont to life.

Asian gains lead SET past 1,050

Posted by arnon_k On March - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday rose to its highest level since Jan 6 to close at 1,050.67 points, up 1.38%, in trade worth 37.97 billion baht.

Foreign investors were heavy net buyers of 6.3 billion baht, while individual investors were net sellers of 6.16 billion and proprietary investors were net sellers of 486 million baht.

Stock markets across region rose yesterday with Japan’s Nikkei gaining 2.1%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng 1.7% and South Korea’s Kospi 1.22%.

Noppadol Piriyawut, an analyst at Thanachart Securities, said large-cap stocks rallied in line with the positive regional trend.

He said the index was expected to continue to rise to a range between 1,055 and 1,060 points with support at 1,030 and resistance at 1,080 points.

Apisit Limtamrongkul, research manager at Kiatnakin Securities, said investors were expecting good operating results of listed companies for the first half. The next few days will also feature “window dressing” by funds as they close out their quarterly balance sheets.

He expects the index to move within 1,045 and 1,055 points.

Picha Ratanatam, head of wealth management at Tisco Bank, recommended that investors revise portfolios by selling some holdings in oil and gold. He believes prices of both commodities are likely to fall as the political crisis in Libya is expected to come to an end soon. Gold is also about to peak at US$1,450 per ounce and a correction is likely.

“The concerns over the Libya’s crisis and Europe’s public debt problems, which have driven up prices of gold, are likely to calm down. So this will trigger selling,” he said.

He suggested investors put money in money-market funds or short-term fixed deposits instead.

Tisco Bank currently offers four-month bills of exchange paying 2.6% for investments above 500,000 baht. Its savings account offers 2% for for amounts from 100,000 to one million baht.

Mr Picha said he was confident that the Thai economy would continue to be healthy as Japan’s disasters are unlikely to affect the Thai economy. He projected GDP would expand by 4.7% this year.

The bank also forecast that the Bank of Thailand will continue to lift its policy rate throughout the first half of the year and commercial banks would follow with higher lending and deposit rates.

“New products such as short-term bonds and short-term deposits are likely to be marketed,” he added.

He remains optimistic about the SET, saying it should touch 1,200 this year on foreign fund flows. The downside risks are limited as negative factors in North Africa and Japan are easing, he added.

THAI resumes flights to Samui

Posted by arnon_k On March - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Thai Airways International (THAI) has resumed flights to Samui after the airport was reopened, after being closed by heavy rain and flooding this week.

THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said the airline would make three flights to Samui today and bring back 600 passengers who were stranded on the storm-wracked island.

With the weather clearing up and the airport was returning to operations, he said.

THAI is able to operate these flights.

Bangkok to Samui

– TG281, original departure time of 7.05am and arrival time in Samui at 8.50am hours has been changed to be departing Bangkok at 1.09pm, estimated arrival time in Samui at 2.45pm

– TG2811 (special flight), departing Bangkok at 2.09pm, estimated arrival time in Samui at 3.25pm

– TG287, departing Bangkok at 4.00pm, estimated arrival time in Samui at 5.05pm

Samui to Bangkok

– TG282, original departure time of 9.30am and arrival time in Bangkok at 10.35am hours has changed to be departing Samui at 3.30pm, estimated arrival time in Bangkok at 4.20pm

– TG2821 (special flight), estimated departure time 3.45pm, estimated arrival time in Bangkok at 4.50pm

– TG288, estimated departure time 5.45pm, estimated arrival time in Bangkok at 6.50pm

Passengers travelling to this area are advised to keep abreast of news on the situation. For more information, call the THAI Contact Centre at 02-356-1111, 24 hours a day, or visit www.thaiairways.com.